How to play baloot card game? Rules

Baloot is a well-known card game in Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries, and therefore, we thought we would explain the rules for playing it.

Baloot game is so famous in Saudi Arabia that a Baloot Championship is organized every year, and the winner gets a heavy reward from the organizers.

Rules to play Baloot

Baloot is a game for four players where the game is played in a partnership of two. The game uses a standard pack of 52 cards. However, card numbers from 2-6 are removed before starting the game, meaning that the game is played with 32 cards. The game is sequenced to be played in an anti-clockwise manner.

Rules to play Baloot

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Cards and Dealing

The game begins by giving each player five cards. One card is placed in the middle and is exposed. After completing the bidding round, three more cards are assigned to each player.

This is how cards are ranked in each suit, i.e., from low to high:

  • Hokum: 7 – 8 – Q – K – 10 – A – 9 – J
  • Other suits: 7 – 8 – 9 – J – Q – K – 10 – A

Rules to play Baloot


Bidding is done to attain the exposed card and placed in the middle. The player sitting at the dealer’s right starts the bidding process.

The one who wins the bidding gets his hands at the exposed card and two additional cards from the pack that have not been distributed among the players yet. Once the bidding round is completed, the remaining pack of cards is distributed among all the players. Players can choose one of these options:

  1. Sun: to play with no trump suit

    The one who selects this option tends to end the bidding, and if any previous player has chosen to pass gets the option to select Sun.

  2. Hokum: to use a suit of the exposed card as trump

    The one who chooses Hokum gives other players an option to choose sun or pass. The one who prefers the sun allows others to choose the sun or pass.

  3. Pass

One who chooses pass can choose the Sun when one of the players selects the Sun.

A few Exceptions

  • If all players choose the option of “pass,” then a new round of bidding starts.
  • The 3rd and 4th players can declare “Ashkal” or “Sun,” except the exposed card is with his partner.
  • Declaring Sun in the second round ends the bid.
  • If Hokum is declared, players who did not get their turn can choose sun or pass. In case all others have passed, this player has the option to select Sun or confirm Hokum.
  • If all players pass, then the game is reset.


If Hokum is selected, then the other team can double the score of that round. The one who has the exposed card with them can even triple the score. The player who selects to double the score then gets the option to quadruple the score. In such a case, the exposed cardholder can declare Gahwa and the game’s result would depend on the round, irrespective of the current result.

When the scores are doubled or quadrupled, that round is considered locked. A locked round means players can’t play the trick with the Hokum card.

If Sun is selected, that team gets 100 points, and the teams can double the round’s score. Yet, the round cannot be locked as Hokum wasn’t selected.

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